A quick look at what was at stake in elections Tuesday in Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin:
INDIANA: Longtime Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, the state’s dominant political figure after nearly 40 years in Congress, fought for political survival against a strong challenge from the right from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has tea party backing. Recent polling has shown Lugar trailing. The 80-year-old, six-term senator’s defeat would upset the GOP establishment. Mourdock has argued that Lugar, known for a genial demeanor and reputation as a diplomat, has become too moderate and more interested in deal-making with liberals in Washington than representing conservatives at home.
NORTH CAROLINA: Voters considered a referendum that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively shutting the door on state recognition of same-sex marriage. Political observers expected the measure to pass. In the final days of the campaign, Obama administration officials spoke up in support of same-sex marriage. Former President Bill Clinton lent his voice to robo-calls opposing the amendment while evangelist Billy Graham has been featured in full-page newspaper ads backing the ban on gay marriage.
WEST VIRGINIA: Sen. Joe Manchin faced a challenge in the Democratic primary from Sheirl Fletcher, a former Republican and ex-legislator. Unopposed on the GOP side is John Raese, who lost to Manchin in the 2010 special election to serve out the term of the late and long-serving Robert C. Byrd. The seat is now up for a full six-year term.
WISCONSIN: Voters choose the Democrat who will face Republican Gov. Scott Walker in next month’s recall election, a vote forced by union leaders and others who rallied against Walker’s push to strip collective bargaining rights from most state workers. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is one of four Democrats on Tuesday’s ballot and a victory by Barrett would set up a potential rematch of the 2010 election that put Walker into office.
GOP PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Without any significant opposition for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney looked to win as many of the 107 convention delegates that were up for grabs in Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. (Wisconsin held its presidential primary last month.) Heading into Tuesday’s contests, Romney was fewer than 300 delegates shy of the 1,144 delegates needed to officially clinch the nomination, according to an Associated Press count. Romney could win about 100 of the available delegates with a strong showing in all three states.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
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